Some times you hear about a garden and how wonderful it is and when you visit you wonder if you are in the right place. However, today was not one of those days. Today the location was completely stunning and the planting was romantic and floriferous.
Birtsmorton Court, near Malvern, is a medieval moated grange. It is one of only 10 moated houses in private ownership in the country and unusually Birtsmorton actually has a double moat. On the other side of the house there is another square moat around an island where the livestock were driven to stay overnight. You can read up on the history of the Court via this link. However an interesting smidge of information is that it was a member of the Nanfan family who owned the house in the Elizabethan times who introduced Henry VIII to Thomas Wolsey who was to go on to become Cardinal Wolsey. Apparently Thomas Wolsey used to sleep under the large yew tree whilst he was a chaplain at the church adjacent to the house.
Whilst the location of the house is stunning the formal garden itself is quite wonderful. You are presented with a large grid of yew topiary, all immaculately trimmed. You wall along one side and you have glimpses of something magical through the gaps between the yew columns. But no you mustn’t be tempted in, instead you resist and walk around the around of the topiary square where you discover bountiful herbaceous borders between the yew and the old brick wall.
The borders are full of peonies. I don’t think I have seen so many peonies in one garden and a wonderful selection of pinks, whites and reds. Roses are in plentiful supply as well. All this romantic planting is for a particular purpose since the house is a wedding venue and you can imagine how wonderful your wedding photographs would be taken in such a romantic and historic setting.
Now you can peer through the yew topiary and you find an entrance to the White Garden. I’m not that keen on single colour gardens but this one was quite exceptional – even the butterflies were white!! As you can imagine this is very much intended as a venue for photo opportunities or even on a beautiful summers day the actual wedding ceremony.
I was particularly taken with the standard white wisteria. It just shows that you don’t need to train them up the side of a house. Another idea to ponder. In fact I heard quite a few people at different points in the garden obviously inspired with various ideas particularly the various trained trees.
Once you have absorbed your formal gardens you can wander out towards the countryside along the stream which I think you will agree is just as romantic appearing as the White Garden.
And I leave you with a final view of the house.
Sadly the gardens are only open one day a year for the National Garden Scheme and I think that the only other way you can visit them is if you attend a wedding or an event held at the venue. This is sad as I think the house and garden should be better known but then again it is always nice to visit somewhere that isn’t overly visited and not too crowded.